Children's Auction raises $489,435 for local charities

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Volunteers for the Greater Lakes Region Children's auction crowd the podium as the grand total of $489, 435 is announced on Saturday.  (Alan MacRae/for the Laconia Daily Sun)


LACONIA — The Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction raised $489,435 in its first year operating out of Contigiani's Catering and Event Center at Pheasant Ridge Golf Club in Gilford.
Of that total, $276,267 was raised by Pub Mania at Patrick's Pub and Eatery in Gilford.
"It is truly an honor to be part of such a community and to watch over 1,500 volunteers between the auction and Pub Mania," said Sandy Marshall, chairman of auction.
She said that many people worked to make the auction a success and praised Jim and Bonnie Contigiani and Contigiani's Catering and Event Center "for letting us completely take over their space for a week during their busiest season."
Marshall also expressed gratitude to Sandy Cleary and CruCon Cruise Outlet for being the presenting sponsor for the auction, as well as donating a truckload of auction items, and to R.J. and Bridget Harding of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion for giving the auction use of their staff for a week and providing all the technical support needed to keep the phone banks, website and bid boards always moving.
She thanked MetroCast and Steve Mazzaschi for wiring the building so the auction could be broadcast live, and to Lakes Region Public Access TV and its manager Grace McNamara and technical guru Shane Selling, as well as students from the Huot Center and community volunteers.
And she said that Alan Beetle and the whole crew from Patrick's held an amazingly successful Pub Mania, which shattered its own record for fundraising.
Pub Mania, now in its eighth year, has raised over $1.3 million for the auction. The 31 teams taking part devote time year-round to raising funds for the auction through a variety of activities, ranging from weekly cribbage and bingo games, pool tournaments, comedy nights and spaghetti suppers. Beetle thanked all of the teams and their captains at last week's Pub Mania event kickoff, observing that all of the work was 99 percent completed and that it was up to the 24 members of each team to enjoy themselves and have some fun.

Marshall  said the board of directors of the auction will hand out the first series of checks on Wednesday, Dec. 14, "so that our Greater Lakes Region cildren will have warm clothes, food and Christmas gifts."

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Pub Mania "Mayor" Michael Seymour holds the microphone for Allan Beetle of Patrick's Pub and Eatery as Beetle announces the total of $276,267 by the annual fundraiser for the Greater Lakes Region Children's auction on Saturday.  (Alan MacRae/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Kalena Graham is Laconia employee of the Year (331)


LACONIA — Planning Department Administrative Assistant Kalena Graham was named the 2016 city of Laconia Employee of the Year at the annual city luncheon held Monday at the Community Center.

Graham began with the city 10 years ago Monday as a temporary employee and will celebrate her tenth anniversary as a city employee in March.

"The winner of this year's award is described by her co-workers as calm, methodical and supportive when dealing with members of the public," said City Manager Scott Myers.

"Helping others, whether they are residents or fellow employees, comes second nature to her," Myers continued. "She is the glue that hold her department together."

Graham said the award was "very much appreciated."

"I enjoy my job here," said said, adding that when she came to the Planning Department she didn't know anything about planning but just wanted to get out of retail.

"Now I know a lot, quite a lot about it," she said.

Graham is a single parent who will earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Granite State College at the end of this semester.

She said she's glad she won but is not really used to self-promotion.

"I really had no idea who it was going to be," she said.

Myers and Mayor Edward Engler also congratulated city employees on their fifth through 30th anniversary with Laconia.
Those celebrating their 20 years of service were Laconia Police Dept. Lt. Richard Simmons, Laconia Fire Department Lt. Lisa Baldini, Public Works Assistant Director Luke Powell, and Housing Authority Board member Bobby Thomas.

Celebrating 25 years of service was Administrative Assistant Ann Saltmarsh of the Public Works Department.

Celebrating 30 years with the city were Earl Van Walker of the Public Works Department and Jim Rogato a member of the Putnam Fund Committee and of the Licensing Board.

12-13 Kalena Graham with Scott Meyers and Ed Engler

City Manager Scott Myers looks on as Mayor Edward Engler presents Kalena Graham with the city of Laconia Employee of the Year award. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Gilford Police make significant heroin arrest


LACONIA — A city man who had already been at the site of an overdose once in Gilford on Sunday was arrested later in the afternoon after he was found by Laconia Police sleeping in a friend's car in the VIP parking lot on Union Avenue.

Gilford Police affidavits obtained from the Belknap County Superior Court said Matthew Boynton, 21, whose address is 83 Batchelder St. in Laconia, was located by Laconia Police shortly after the owner of the car came to the Gilford Police Department at 2:11 p.m. to let them know that Boynton had borrowed her car about six hours earlier and hadn't returned it.

Laconia Police were able to wake him and, because the car was reported missing in Gilford, Laconia Police ceded authority to Gilford Police. The car was still running and had some damage to the right side.

Boynton was charged with taking a car without the owner's consent and brought back to Gilford. Once there, he was searched and two small plastic bags fell from his sock. TruNarc tests indicated the contents tested positive for heroin/fentanyl or methamphetamine.

Police said Boynton had left a red backpack at the car owner's house. An officer retrieved the bag and brought it to the booking room of the police department.

Earlier in the day, one of the officers who was at the station said he had gone to an overdose earlier in the day at the car owner's house and at that time Boynton was there and had said the backpack was his.

After getting written consent from Boynton, police searched the backpack and inside a shaving kit they found a drug kit containing 8.8 ounces of heroin, a plastic bag with some Xanax pills and some scales.

Boynton allegedly told police the substance in the bag was heroin.

In addition to being charged with the unauthorized taking of a car, Boynton is also charged with one count of possession of heroin/fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, and two counts of possession of controlled drugs.

Judge James O'Neill ordered he be held on $10,000 cash-only bail and that, should he post it, a source-of-funds hearing must be held.

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